London – Southampton have accused controversial referee Mark Clattenburg of “abusing and insulting” their captain Adam Lallana during the recent 2-1 defeat at Everton.
The Premier League club have lodged a complaint with the Professional Game Match Officials board and requested that Clattenburg not take charge of any of their fixtures until the investigation by referees' chief Mike Riley is complete.
Clattenburg's alleged insult was directed at Lallana after he had turned down late penalty appeals for handball at Goodison Park.
Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino publicly criticised Clattenburg's performance after the match.
He complained that Southampton should have been awarded two penalties -including the one where Lallana's cross hit Antolin Alcaraz's hand, leading to Clattenburg's confrontation with the England international.
It was the third occasion in the past year that Clattenburg has angered Southampton over penalty decisions.
In the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in November, he awarded a penalty against Saints' defender Jose Fonte for tugging the shirt of Per Mertesacker as he defended a corner, allowing Olivier Giroud to score his and Arsenal's second in the 86th minute.
It was the sort of incident that often goes unpunished and Fonte said afterwards: “It was very harsh, even Per Mertesacker told me after the game it was very soft.
“I did have my hand on him but I just wish the referees would be consistent.”
Clattenburg also took charge of Saints' game at Norwich City last March, awarding a last-minute penalty against Luke Shaw for tripping Grant Holt when both were running away from goal.
But on the occasion, goalkeeper Artur Boruc saved Holt's resultant penalty and the game ended 0-0.
Pochettino was furious. “The ball was heading out towards the corner. Luke Shaw was running after the ball and his rival clatters into him.
“Upon seeing the review on TV it's super clear to me it's not a penalty at all.” – Sapa-AFP